Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Christmas Cards

22nd Nov

Christmas Cards

It's less than five weeks till Christmas!!!

I don't know about you but for me, it comes around all too  quickly. I can't believe we're nearly there. A sign of my age perhaps.

Do you send Christmas Cards? Some people don't do they?  It's definitely the time to think of at least buying some. 

I like to send them and over the years have come to realise what an important part of the Christmas  story they can be.

Many years ago I used to buy a big box of cards from Woolworths - yes, I know, definitely showing my age now!!

Anyhow, in this box of, I think 50 cards, there might be one or two that would be considered "Holy". What do I  mean by that? Well, I'm thinking of those ones that actually showed the Holy Family, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. Those few cards would be selected, by me, to go to people who I thought would appreciate them, those ones who, I knew believed. I certainly wouldn't have popped one in to my neighbour who'd expressed agnostic views or to a family member who had fallen away from the Faith. Wouldn't want to upset them, now, would I?

These days I no longer  buy assorted boxes. In fact I go out of my way to purchase ( from local shops if at all possible), only ones with the real message of Christmas on. I only send religious cards.    For some people it might mean my card is the only one on their  shelf  showing what Christmas is about. And to think they'll have a nativity scene in their home makes me very happy. In this small way maybe I am bringing  Christ to others. And with a warm message inside, who knows the good it might do.

Are you particular about your Christmas Cards? Will you strive to pass on the Christmas message in this very easy  way. 




Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Club

 5th Oct 2022

This week's six sentence challenge bloghop can be found here, 

 https://girlieontheedge1.wordpress.com/  

Rules of the hop:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word.
Link up at Wednesday’s post. Link goes live at 6:00 pm through Saturday late…
Spread the word and put in a good one to your fellow writers 😀

PROMPT WORD:  CLUB



Dancing  With Dad

"Come on then, you're turn now," my father  put out his hand to me and smiled, having first  made sure  Mum  was comfortable sitting with  my Aunt and my sisters, "let's see what you remember from last week."  

As my handsome dad, with his jet black hair  swirled me round the dancefloor in an attempt to teach me the waltz, homework, friendship concerns,  and all the survival stuff of school, melted away and, having looked forward eagerly to these precious moments, I now concentrated only on  the steps, while  dad whispered , "one, two, three," over and over in my ear.  

Every Sunday evening we joined other Parishioners, mostly Irish, like one big family,  at the Hay Lane Catholic Club, which was packed to the rafters and where, I'm convinced more Guinness  was drunk here than in Dublin itself.  Proud to be dancing with my dad, and  striving as I was  to be as brilliant with him as mum was,  the two of us meanwhile  laughed together and enjoyed ourselves so much that the good feeling of everything being right with the world seemed to  seep into my bones. 

 Dad died  six years ago, and it was many years  before that I'd  last danced with him,  but these memories, rather than fading, seem to be as clear to me now as back then - when I trod on his toes,  when he patiently and kindly waited for me to learn, when he let me have some of his Guinness, when we'd finally danced the whole song without me making any mistakes and he lifted me up and kissed my forehead, and if I close my eyes and breathe deeply I can  smell the  beer, the smoke, the sweat of that lost time.  

Though things didn't stay that  good between us,  much as  I  wished they would, and though I'm sad that I didn't make more of an effort to be closer to him, I am , nevertheless, so grateful and thank God for these fond memories of a happier time. 



Saturday, October 1, 2022

Spark

 1st Oct 2022

 



Following on from last weeks story, I stay with Marie in the garden.

The  prompt word, Spark.


Marie glanced through the grubby window of the greenhouse, saw his spade hanging in the place he had always left it, saw the neat pots stacked in ordered rows, saw the seed boxes  all meticulously and lovingly  made by Frank all those years ago, and wondered what had finally pushed her over the edge, what was the spark that set her off.

When they first got married she enjoyed sharing his passion for all things horticultural, had followed him around at shows, had even done a course in flower arranging so she could make use of the many flowers that he grew, eventually becoming a teacher herself. 

However, as time went on and the children came along, it became clear to Marie that his plant obsession was the most important thing in the world to him and she would have to get on with things by herself, which , for the sake of the children and because she had loved him, she put up with.

The fact that their father showed them so little affection, she found it difficult over the years to convince her daughter and two sons that their father did actually love them, speaking well of him at all times and doing her best to encourage him on the odd occasion, usually with flowers involved, to attend events that they might be involved in. 

But she had become tired of living a lie and on that last day, the day he'd trudged over her new carpet with his muddy boots without a care for her at all, she'd been slicing onions for their dinner and suddenly, though she has no recall of the incident itself, she found herself looking down at his body, blood dripping from the knife she held in her hand.

"This is a good spot for you, right where you'd want to be," she said to her dead husband as she rolled him into the hole she'd dug outside his greenhouse, while she wondered how she would get his blood out of her new carpet.   

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lazarus and the rich man

 Lazarus and the rich man



 In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees,  gives us the story of Lazarus and the rich man. 

What would these Pharisees be thinking listening to this story? Was it hard for them to take? After all it dispels an  idea prevalent at the time that  material prosperity in this life was a reward for being  morally upright and that adversity was a punishment. And it makes it very clear that the soul survives after death and therefore there  is retribution in the next life, that we have to answer to God for all our acts in this life.

The rich man didn't do anything bad to poor Lazarus. His sin was one of omission. He ignored him. Or did he , rather, not "see" him. 

What is Jesus telling us? 

Maybe we need to ask ourselves some questions. Am I ignoring those that are around me who are in need? Even if I am not well off, do I consider the dignity of every person I come into contact with and help them in some way? Am I quick to help the poor, by giving to charity or by getting involved where I can? Am I concerned with the plight of the poor in other parts of the world and feel called to do something about it, even if only raising awareness. 

We all die and go to the Lord with nothing. Let's do the best we can while we're here to look after those less fortunate, whether materially or spiritually.   


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tying the Knot

20th Sept 2022

Six sentence story with :


                                              girlieontheedge 









   I Can't Undo The Knot

Part 1
Marie waters the rose bush, notices some old blossoms which have changed from  beautiful, rich, deep orange to faded, dull  pink and which she now dead heads, wondering why age is so ugly.

 "Rosa Independence",  a bush she  chose herself, has grown outside her husbands greenhouse for six years now and yet, regularly,  Marie walks to the end of the garden to tend it and spend some time in quiet contemplation, though it never seems to settle her thoughts or bring her any comfort or consolation and whilst she abhors living in the rambling old house, with it's creaky stairs and large cold rooms, she knows that she can never leave. 

"Mum, this place is killing you, it's about time you got out, moved on, got a life for yourself" her daughter often pleads, "and mum, you know me and Chris will help, and come on, it's gone six years now since dad went, and, honestly,  seeing you like this is heart-breaking."

Her daughters words hurt more than she wanted to admit, but as she kneels down in the dirt,  weeding under the bush, she remembers her last day with Frank,  when he came home from the Mid Henton Holicultural show, with an award for "Most Improved Bloom", and walked through the hallway, her clean hallway,  imprinting it with muddy footprints from his boots and grunting, "Where's me dinner then?"

"I do miss you," she snifs,  as her tears fall into the dirt,  "but maybe we shouldn't have tied the knot so tightly all those years ago, because , no matter what I do, I can't undo it...I can't undo it, and although I'm not locked up,  I'm not free, am I,  and here we are, you and I, here we are"  

----

 
Marie glanced through the grubby window of the greenhouse, saw his spade hanging in the place he had always left it, saw the neat pots stacked in ordered rows, saw the seed boxes  all meticulously and lovingly  made by Frank all those years ago, and wondered what had finally pushed her over the edge, what was the spark that set her off.

When they first got married she enjoyed sharing his passion for all things horticultural, had followed him around at shows, had even done a course in flower arranging so she could make use of the many flowers that he grew, eventually becoming a teacher herself. 

However, as time went on and the children came along, it became clear to Marie that his plant obsession was the most important thing in the world to him and she would have to get on with things by herself, which , for the sake of the children and because she had loved him, she put up with.

The fact that their father showed them so little affection, she found it difficult over the years to convince her daughter and two sons that their father did actually love them, speaking well of him at all times and doing her best to encourage him on the odd occasion, usually with flowers involved, to attend events that they might be involved in. 

But she had become tired of living a lie and on that last day, the day he'd trudged over her new carpet with his muddy boots without a care for her at all, she'd been slicing onions for their dinner and suddenly, though she has no recall of the incident itself, she found herself looking down at his body, blood dripping from the knife she held in her hand.

"This is a good spot for you, right where you'd want to be," she said to her dead husband as she rolled him into the hole she'd dug outside his greenhouse, while she wondered how she would get his blood out of her new carpet.   

Friday, September 16, 2022

Angel

 16th September 

Joining six sentence story bloghop.

Prompt word - Guard


Angel


I ask for him to light the way, 

to guard me every single day,

to rule me, to guide me

on my way.


He's always there to help me out,

especially when I'm driving  about.

He's great at finding parking spots

and when I ask, 

He finds  me lots.


And lately, as my memory dims,

he aids me finding my lost things.

I can honestly say I rely so much 

on his gentle guidance 

and soft, warm touch.


So thank you dear Angel for all you do,

for staying close and for being you.


 


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Have you no Faith?

 







We can be worried  and afraid of all manner of things. 

We might have a  physical illness and get anxious that it will be terminal, or, at least stop us doing what we normally do.

We might have money issues and are concerned about how we'll pay our bills.

One of our children might be ill or in trouble and we don't know how we can help.

We might have a tough talk to give. And though it is for the Lord, we stay awake at night going over and over what we're going to say. 

We will all have our own scenarios. 

A lady wanted to run a prayer group to help ladies that she knew grow in their relationship with The Lord. Her spiritual director thought it was a great idea and so she prepared for it as best she could. Before the first meeting she got very anxious and her family life suffered. She lead the prayer group and all was well. At the second one, she changes somethings and tried to listen to the Holy Spirit, and although it went better ( in her judgement), it was far from what she'd hoped she could do.                                                          She prayed about it and consulted and discovered that she hadn't been trusting it to the Lord, not really. Even though she thought she had. 

Then she found this quote which gave her a lot of peace. 

Mk 4: 40 "He said to them, ""Why are you afraid? Have you no Faith?""

She intends to prepare for the third meeting in a more relaxed way, with Jesus,  relying on Him more, to trust Him more and leave the result up to Him. She is going to "get out of the way, so God can enter..."

Let us place our reliance on God and leave every outcome up to Him. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Changeling 2

  31st Aug 2022


From a few years ago, with some changes


2nd Oct 2019


Day 2 of octpowrimo.
Why don't you have a go. It would be lovely to see your words.

Going for an acrostic as I found the prompt, Changeling,  a bit hard. 
I was thinking of my boy, who has ADHD and didn't "fit" societal expectations.

Changeling

You,  dear child,  you have,
extraordinary powers. 
Not understood by those 
who have 
preconceived ideas
 of a normal sort of life,
 a life that fits their comfort,
A life that doesn't veer from the
well trodden, wide, path, 
the road, everyone walks. 
But not you. 
No, they are blind to your  magic, 
your exuberant excitement, 
along this 
Great adventure of life,
where, for you,
 anything is possible,
 and no limits exist, 
where,  you explore, explode,
enthuse over everything,
over anything.
You, are larger than the life
you've  been given. 
You are the inventor most magnificent,
 the Nobleman in your  own country, 
you encounter all with joy. 
You speed through life, 
lighting up our lives.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Six Sentence Story

30th April


 The prompt for the six sentence story was "term"

Find info here: girlieonthe

girlieontheed ›

30th April 2022

 GirlieOnTheEdgeBlog 


Sally walked through the tape, avoiding cracked steps, and stopped to put plastic shoe coverings on before  entering the open front door of the Victorian terraced house.  Her eyes smarted, and she coughed as the strong smell of bleach unexpectedly caught her throat. Making her way towards the kitchen she was thankful to observe that the all the windows were open, yet she still covered her face with her hands. 

"All yours, Doctor," said one of the policemen as he passed her in the corridor, "not a pretty site, I'm afraid." 

How spotless everything looks, she thought, glancing round the kitchen. The only disorder the body, a woman in her early thirties, she surmised, clothes in disarray, cuts, bruises, blood everywhere  and, shockingly, as far as Sally could tell, pregnant and full term. Immediately falling on her knees she proceeded to ascertain whether the baby was alive or, more likely dead. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Finding Ten

 29th April


It's a while since I posted anything on the ten things of thankful bloghop. 
I have no valid excuse.
It's not that I haven't  had cause to give thanks.  
I have. 
I just haven't felt like thinking about it, and actually being thankful.
I suppose my attitude hasn't been one of counting my blessings, but rather seeing only the obstacles. 
And those obstacles, dear readers, are so minute in my life as to be totally embarrassing to talk about.
So I won't.
So I come here today and try to ponder on what I can be grateful for. 
I'll just look at the past week.

1. On Wednesday we came back from Cornwall after spending twelve days at our daughter's, the first week dog sitting while they cruised the Norway Fjords, with the children, the second week a few days with all of them when they got back.  
It was a time to treasure, a time that's precious. We don't get to see them as often as we'd like as they live 6 hours away. 
I know you guys in America don't think that's such a big deal, but for us English folk, on our small island, I can assure you it's a massive trek.
2. I loved some of the coastal walks and  breathed the sea air, the freedom of it, deep into my lungs. As I walked I thought again that I'd like to do the Camino de Santiago. I'd have to practice lots before though. I'm not fit enough for it yet. 
3. On one of the walks when the family came home I strolled along with my six year old grandaughter. What joy as we created poems together from all that we saw around us - caterpillars, yellow gorse bushes, trains, birds, the colours of the sea, the dunes, the sand, the sound of church bell,  and much more. When she got home, she started a new journal which she called Seaside Poems.  Amazing.
4. Sharing a book with my grandson before he went to bed. It makes me so happy that he loves books. This lively boy of three can sit for an hour or more listening to stories. I love that. 
5. Then, when the children were in bed, we spent some quality time with our daughter and her husband. A glass of wine and chatting together - just my cup of tea ( ah, no, it's wine xxx) To see the love they have for each other is quite humbling and brings a lump to my throat. 
6. When we got home and I looked out into the garden I was overjoyed to see the reds and blues and yellows of plants bursting into bloom. And my clematis coming back to life with it's beautiful purple flowers. What a lot had happened in the garden in that short twelve days. Of course, there is a lot of weeding to do too. But hey ...
7. I heard on the family grapevine how one of the children was helping a sibling out with a problem. How proud I am of my children.  It happens with the grandchildren too , and  even between the generations. It's more than I thought possible, yet maybe only the tip of the iceberg, for all I know. 
8. Hubby and I went in some galleries when we were away. I was blown away by the  exhibition in the Newlyn Gallery in Penzance, called Captured Beauty. Here's some blurb:

Black Voices Cornwall is an organisation that exists to enable Cornwall to become an actively anti-racist county. The ambition for Captured Beauty is for ethnically diverse visitors to feel seen through the works in this exhibition. It is also an opportunity for the white community to have an insight to how it feels to be a person of colour in the 21st century, and to come away from the exhibition with a determination to finally end racism.

We were told that 98.2% of Cornwall is white and one of the artists said she can go for more than three weeks without seeing a person like herself. How isolating is that. 
The exhibition was very humbling. 
It made me think, as St Josemaria said many years ago, "there's only one race, the human race...". If only we could remember that.
9. Another exhibition I enjoyed was called Simple Truths. Again, it made me think. Taking ordinary daily experiences and giving them a twist was clever. There was even some up to date pieces such as a shop assistant in a bakery carefully putting a loaf of bread in brown  paper . She is wearing a mask.  Only able to see her eyes, we're left with questions. Might she be smiling? 
I have to thank my lovely hubby for introducing me to the wonder of galleries. 
10. Finally, I'm thankful for this bloghop, which has encouraged me to find things to be thankful for and has got me writing.